Fluoroscopy uses x-ray to make real-time images of “moving pictures” within the body. The doctor can see tissues and organs working via a video image reminiscent of watching television.
The procedure assists physicians in diagnosing and treating ailments of many parts of the human anatomy, including the reproductive system, blood vessels, respiratory, bones, urinary, joints, digestive, and more.
The procedure is non-invasive with virtually no pain allowing images of most body components and organs. In order to establish the fluoroscopic images, generally, a dye or contrasting agent is used, and a radiologist will interpret the images to go over with the physician, who will then go over the finding with you to help you in determining the next course of action if there is something you need to do.
Doctors will suggest the fluoro-navigation tool in invasive treatments either alone or combined with other procedures, plus use it to diagnose illness or disease. Some varied professionals choose the option to help them in their practice. These include:
- Cardiologists: These physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating varied heart conditions. Many professionals are qualified to work using nonsurgical procedures in an interventional cardiology capacity where catheterization is implemented along with specialized imagery navigation.
- Urology: These are professionals trained in the “genitourinary” tract and procedures to assess and correct disorders in this area.
- Gastroenterology: Internists or pediatricians who investigate disorders in the GI (Gastrointestinal) tract or within the digestive system and provide the necessary treatment for conditions/ailments within these areas.
- Radiology: Also referenced as diagnostics, these imaging specialists provide diagnostic techniques or image navigations to guide other professionals performing medical procedures such as heart catheterization or placing stents to open blocked arteries within the heart. The specialty is invaluable in the medical community.
- Gynecology/Obstetricians: These professionals work with the reproductive system for females plus handle pregnancy, childbirth, and aftercare.
- Orthopedic surgery: when there is disease or injury of the musculoskeletal structure, specialists in this arena are responsible for determining the cause and finding a solution. The areas of expertise include muscles, bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. If you get a fracture or break a bone, this is the medical team that will handle your case.
Check out the difference between fluoroscopy and radiography here. Depending on why the doctor is using the fluoroscopic procedure, these are generally performed outpatient or in the hospital environment. The techniques vary based on how the process will be used, but the steps will typically include:
- Gown: Patients are asked to remove all jewelry or metal and change into a hospital gown.
- Placement: There will be specific positioning on the medical table to acquire adequate imagery. The specialists could require repositioning or ask that you hold your breath for a short time while images are taken.
- Contrast: A dye or contrasting agent may be needed and supplied through IV or in a beverage for drinking or perhaps using an enema. If you will be receiving a cardiac catheterization procedure, the process involves injecting the substance directly into the catheter.
- Anxiety: In many situations, the professionals find adults or children suffering from anxiety over having procedures. In those instances, light sedation might be necessary to have the patient lie still, so images are not distorted by movement.
- Video: A video screen will instantly detect the imagery formed from a specialized x-ray scan that produces pictures of the area affected by injury, illness, or disease. The suggestion is that the process is painless. The testing team will often allow patients to see the screened images if there’s interest in doing so.
- Navigation: The fluoroscopic process is often used to navigate treatments or surgeries, including placing a heart catheter or an angioplasty where the patient is suffering from coronary artery blockages.
- Discharge: In some cases, the doctor might allow you to go home as an outpatient, but there are instances where you’ll remain in the hospital so the team can continue to observe you and perhaps additional treatments.
Fluoroscopic imagery or navigation in and of itself doesn’t have specific complications or risks unless you have an aversion to the contrasting age or dye. Go to https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/fluoroscopy-procedure/ for the fundamentals on the procedure.
The potential for reactions to the dye or contrast needs to be determined upfront so other arrangements can be made. The medical procedures for which the diagnostics serve as a navigation tool have the potential for risk or complications.
Being exposed to radiation from the fluoro offers a slight increase in cancer risk. Still, the care team follows stringent diagnostic guidelines to implement the most negligible radiation to achieve the most outstanding result.
The primary component for optimum comfort and safety plus ideal results will ultimately fall to the patient. A medical team provides thorough instructions for each person to come prepared and how to do so.
Part of that process includes answering medical history questions, including advising of all medications or supplements or vitamins, allergies, previous surgeries.
This helps avoid any interactions or reactions with the contrast or dye. Plus, the team wants to ensure no jumbled nerves could affect the imagery if a patient were to shift positions. There will be sedatives provided to calm uneasiness.
It’s imperative to be upfront and forthright so precautions can be taken to ensure everything goes off without a hitch for the greatest good of the patient and the doctor trying to either make a diagnosis or correct a medical problem.